Lisa Brennan-Jobs talks about how she learned to love the co-founder of Apple, who claimed for years she wasn’t his child
• ‘He called me Small Fry’: scroll down for an extract from Brennan-Jobs’s book
It is a good thing, says Lisa Brennan-Jobs, that she did not write her memoir of growing up in the shadow of her father, Steve Jobs, when she was still in her 20s. The 40-year-old, who lives with her husband Bill and their four-month-old son Thomas in Brooklyn, could not have done justice to the story, she says, because, “I don’t know if I’d have been able to get over the self-pity.” She is also glad she didn’t wait until her 40s to write the book, when the experience of having Thomas has made her “softer, more forgiving”. Instead, she spent the best part of her 30s writing a book that is neither self-pitying nor soft, but is a portrait of a childhood in which the key factor is not that her father was a man who changed the world, but that he was a man who, over and over, tried and failed in mostly ordinary ways.
It is relatively well known by now that Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple who died eight years ago of pancreatic cancer, had a child with his high-school sweetheart when the pair were in their early 20s, and that a few years later, when on paper at least he was worth hundreds of millions, had to be sued for child support – events around which the whiff of scandal still lingers.